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Ken Borland


Boucher admits insipid batting, but batsmen on tour were the best

Posted on October 27, 2022 by Ken

Proteas coach Mark Boucher admitted that their batting had been insipid in the Test series in England, but said the natural remedy of just finding other batsmen to take the incumbents’ places in the Big Time was not applicable because the batters on tour were the best available.

“The batsmen here have consistently been the best in the country,” Boucher said after the series loss but before the shock announcement that he would be standing down from his post after the T20 World Cup next month. “We always knew we would be under pressure if the conditions made the ball go around a bit against a good English bowling attack.

“You have to be able to trust your defence, but our issue was that we weren’t able to keep out the good balls. Quite a few technical flaws were exposed.

“But it’s a fine line between wanting the batsmen to play the way that got them here and changing too much. And this is not an academy of learning, this is Test cricket.

“We were forced into positions where we had to give opportunities to others, you can’t just keep playing with the same guys who keep failing. There’s a mental side to it too, and it can become like quicksand – the harder you try, the deeper you sink.

“Hopefully these batsmen will get it right next time they come here. We played some very good cricket, but we just couldn’t put the runs on the board,” Boucher said at The Oval.

Although Boucher is now likely to become a franchise T20 coach, he made a plea to cricket’s global administrators for more Tests per annum to be played.

“The only way to get experience is by going out and playing, and losing sight of Test cricket would not be great. I’m a purist, I love it and for me it is the truest form of the game. We need to take care of it.

“The heads of the game need to get together and decide how best we can play more Test cricket, we need to find a way.

“Test cricket is exciting, you very seldom see draws anymore, it’s attacking and nice to watch. The more we see of it the better,” Boucher said.

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